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The tiny postapocalyptic biker gang buries Patch under a pile of stones not far off the highway, wearing his chaps and shotgun, the way he would have wanted. Tatters gets his bike.

“You’re a man now,” explains Rackham gruffly. “You ride midpack. You carry your share and when we raid, you’re out there with us, gun oiled and clean. You understand?”

Tatters nods, trying not to itch his nascent mustache.

At night, encamped, he smears aloe on his neck and listens to the soft steady click of the Geiger on his lanyard. The moon whirls above him, stippled in 255 colors.